That chasm is, in my view, the third impediment to the growth of bridge today. And like impediments 1 (rudeness of competitive players), and 2 (ACBL offering only duplicate bridge) it’s something only the ACBL itself with the bridge establishment can take the lead on ending.
Us leftover old ladies from the 50s and 60s when bridge reigned, can’t do it! Most don’t think about bridge popculturally (as I do). But then the survival of sociable bridge after I’m dead and gone happens to be my quirky end-of-life cause.
Even if the ACBL and the bridge establishment doesn’t give a damn about my cause, might even prefer that the sociable players die off–and good riddance!–it is in the self-interest of the ACBL that sociable bridge survive and be restored as the family card game it used to be.
That’s how the ACBL will acquire an ever-growing supply of candidates for their kind of
Here’s a couple of ideas that the ACBL could include in their Bulletin to member clubs—one from and for duplicate players, the other from and for bridge teachers.
First, is from Duplicate player Lois, part of a 50+ community in Florida, who posted an appeal for a new bridge club combining both serious and sociable players on the community Bridge bulletin board, adding: “The bridge would be social and fun with friendship as the main goal.” She e-mailed me as follows:
“I want you to know you inspired me to start a Ladies Bridge Lunch group. . . . after reading your blog, I (a duplicate player) started the lunch group with the intent to cross-fertilize the groups. We have 9 people signed up. I hosted the first meeting on April 30. . . . We played social bridge—no bidding boxes, no boards, with standard American bidding, bridge tallies and total point scoring. We had a great time and will continue to meet on a monthly basis. Thanks for the inspiration.”
Second, is from Bridge Mojo a bridge teacher in the Pasadena/Arcadia (California) are. She makes a list available to her students of people who want to play social bridge for those who want to move in that direction, and tells how to join the list.
She says, “For bridge students and beginners, I’ve created an email list “SocialBridge” with the intent of providing a place for students to ask questions and make arrangements to play bridge socially. Clearly the best way to improve at bridge is to play as often as you can, but finding a game that isn’t too competitive or intimidating can be difficult. The list members should all be local to the Pasadena/Arcadia area, and mostly current or former students of my bridge classes. . . . folks who mostly know each other and would like to discuss bridge or get together to practice.”
How much better this is than a hard-nosed duplicate teacher inhospitable to those who want to leave and play social bridge! That only creates that group of ex-bridge players who badmouth the game saying in one way or another–“I tried bridge lessons once, but didn’t like it–all I wanted was to play bridge like my grandma did!”
The expected and unexpected consequences of either effort would be interesting to hear. If I live long enough, think I’ll follow up and try to find out what happened crossing serious and social bridge. A mini-research project.